He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers (Psalm 1:3 ESV).

Being steadfast has nothing to do with self-sufficiency. In fact, steadfastness is only truly visible when it faces a headwind of adversity.

Ruth was steadfast, and she was also widowed and hungry. Paul was steadfast, and he lived much of his life under the threat of arrest, imprisonment, or execution. Job was certainly steadfast, but we can hardly think of anyone but Christ Himself who suffered more.

Like every other godly characteristic, we receive steadfastness, we don’t produce it. And it always begins with a rescue—with God delivering us, reviving us, nourishing us, and then strengthening us. He is the One who makes us steadfast.

Therefore, never believe that you can’t be among the steadfast. Never imagine yourself destined to remain a twig or a sapling. God has made you a tree, a life-giving tree.

But the state of your “treehood” depends largely on your commitment to remain planted by the stream. This is where your roots will grow deep, your trunk will grow sturdy, and your fruit will multiply.

Those who would live as kingdom-first men and women stay by the stream. Christ has no rival in their affections. He is first in all things.

Is this true of you?